Blog of the Belly Biter:

Some plant-based, some unhealthy, some super healthy but ALL good. Kid tested and mother approved!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beanball Subs.

Yum, yum... eat'em up, I think I'm in love. This stuff makes you not miss the meat or cheese one bit! After typing it all up - it looks like it takes forever to cook... but it doesn't! The hardest part is just making sure you have all of the ingredients. Time savers: make the pine nut cream earlier in the day. Use a jar of marinara. Make, bake and freeze a double batch of beanballs for later.

1 recipe Beanballs {below}
1 recipe (4 cups) Marinara Sauce {below}
1 recipe Pine Nut Cream {below}
4 hoagie rolls, split open
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, well washed

Prepare the recipes of the first three components. Preheat oven to 350*F. Place Beanballs in a casserole dish and top with about 1 cup of marinara and all of the pine nut cream. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until pine nut cream is lightly browned.
Spread more marinara sauce on one side of each roll and distribute the Beanballs evenly among the sammiches, layering the spinach leaves over them - it'll wilt some. Top liberally with more marinara sauce. Close your sammiches, slice in half on the diagonal, and serve.

YUM! And they're almost even better the next day.

1 (20-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons steak sauce or tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for frying or baking
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced finely
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 375*F.

Mash the kidney beans in a mixing bowl until no whole beans are left. You don't want them to be completely smooth, you should still be able to recognize that they are kidney beans. Add the soy sauce, steak sauce/tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, lemon zest, bread crumbs, wheat gluten, and herbs, and use a fork to mix everything together. Use your hands to kneed the mixture for about a minute, until everything is really well combined and firm.

Roll the bean mixture into walnut-size balls (I use a cookie scoop so they're all uniform). But don't make them too big; smaller makes for the best texture.

Grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil {i spray}. Place the balls on the sheet and then drizzle them with a little more oil, to coat {i spray a liberal coat}. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven.

Time Saver: Double this up, freeze what you don't use. And have them quick and ready for another time.

Marinara Sauce
garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
a whole bulb of peeled roasted garlic, smooshed
roasted red pepper, chopped

Preheat saucepan over medium-low heat. Add water and garlic to steam-fry for about a minute until fragrant, being careful not to let it burn. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and raise the heat a bit to bring to a simmer. Add the roasted garlic. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the roasted red pepper and warm through.

Pine Nut Cream
1 pound soft silken tofu
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
1 garlic clove
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
white pepper

In a food processor, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula, until a cream paste forms. Add the tofu, garlic, arrowroot, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Blend until creamy and smooth.

Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero
page 99


  1. So So VERY sad that I can't try this looks delicious! I am allergic to soy :(

    I have a recipe for cashew ricotta cheese I just made tonight, and also for a nacho vegan cheese from my vitamix ccokbook that is amazing. Let me know if you want the recipes and I will send them your way. I also made Buckwheaties today, have you ever heard of them? I love them!

  2. I'm making these and had the beanballs cooking half way and ready to turn and then I go back to double check on how to assemble the sandwiches and realize I'm supposed to be baking them WITH the sauces. Oops! So my question is are you supposed to bake the beanballs first and THEN bake them again with the sauces on top or just all together in one step? Thanks!

    I can't wait to taste these! I've tasted all of the parts separately and they're super yummy so I'm sure they will be delicious together! other question. Do you always use pine nuts or do you ever substitute with a different nut? Pine nuts sure are tasty but they're so $$!

  3. Brooke....bake the balls twice. The first time really is to set them, I think. If you cook with the sauce they'll get too mushy I bet. I always double or triple the balls since it's such a process. Then when they're frozen you can cook them with the sauce.

    I haven't subed any other nut, I think the taste could really chane without them. Prob still good, just different. This is the only recipe I use them for... so I don't go through a ton.. Those are my thoughts. Veganomicon doesn't really specify.

    Hope you love them!! Let me know!

  4. So good! We all loved them! Don't ya think that pine nut cream would be good as a lasagna filling? Hmmm...might have to try that! Thanks for the recipe! Next time I'm trying them with the balsamic gravy and potatoes. Oh...ha...I have to tell you what happened with these. I was all ready to go to make the beanballs and went to the pantry to get my kidney beans and I was out! WHAT?! So I used black beans. So if you were ever beans work great, too! Ha! But I'm definitely going to try them with kidney beans next time.

  5. Any ideas on a substitute for the soy sauce in the beanballs for us soy-free folks?


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